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Farmers have been urged to continue planting, but should concentrate on early maturing and drought tolerant varieties. The call was made by Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union president Mr Abdul Nyathi, who said many farmers were currently preparing land for planting.

“The season was late but farmers should not despair. They can continue planting up to the end of January.

“Farmers should, however, look for early maturing varieties as it is too late to plant long season varieties,” he said.

Mr Nyathi said the recent rains were timely.

“Early planted tobacco especially the irrigated crop is in good condition and farmers will soon start harvesting.

“There were some problems with the dryland crop as it was affected by the dry spell,” he said.

He aised cotton farmers to diversify to other crops as the crop was a high risk. Mr Nyathi said there was no market for cotton as it was affected by the international market.

China, which is the biggest producer of cotton, is offloading its 10 million tonnes of lint on the market and this has affected the price of cotton on the international market.

“Cotton is an expensive crop considering the cost of inputs and the prices of the final product. Even if a farmer wants to produce the crop without contract, it remains expensive because of the chemicals used,” he said.

Mr Nyathi said the condition of livestock was satisfactory across the country.

Source : The Herald